QCP Capital secures preliminary approval to operate in Abu Dhabi

QCP Capital secures preliminary approval to operate in Abu Dhabi

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QCP Capital, a top Singapore-based crypto options trading desk for digital assets, has received in-principle approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to conduct regulated activities. This development marks the firm’s expansion into the Middle East.

The crypto options trading desk, which processed nearly $60 billion in crypto derivatives trading volume last year, is the first Singapore-based digital-asset market maker and broker dealer to receive preliminary approval from ADGM, according to a spokesperson from the regulator. Once it secures a full license, the company plans to relocate some of its more than 70 employees to Abu Dhabi.


The United Arab Emirates has been actively working to attract more crypto companies, with Binance, OKX, and Nomura’s Laser Digital already establishing operations in the region. Melvin Deng, CEO of QCP, praised Abu Dhabi’s regulators for their progressive approach to the digital assets ecosystem, considering it as a part of traditional finance.

“Abu Dhabi has got very progressive regulators in that they are thinking about the digital assets as a complete ecosystem with all of traditional finance,” said Deng.

Deng, who joined QCP in 2021 after spending over 15 years at Standard Chartered Bank, also cited the geographical location as a factor in the firm’s decision to expand to the Middle East. He noted that the region serves as a confluence for capital flows from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, similar to Singapore’s position.

According to an Ernst & Young report, the monthly volume of crypto derivatives stood at $1.33 trillion as of September 2023, with most of the activity taking place outside the United States.

QCP recently announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures to develop new products in digital assets. Once the firm receives the full license, it will prioritize core businesses such as trading and market making in the region.

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